Nurse Impersonators - page 4

:( Am I the only one who resents the "nurse impersonators" who abound in the health care field? Everyone who works at a doctor's office or in a hospital wears scrubs and seems to pass... Read More

  1. by   Huganurse
    Not uneducated. Less educated would be more correct. The difference is about 3 1/2 years. The difference is college and university education vs vocational training. In my state CNA's are not considered professionals, RN's are professionals along with doctors, lawyers, and other occupations that require degrees. Doing nursing duties and being a nurse are two different things. If you are not a nurse then you have no idea what you don't know. A good RN knows this and also that there is much that they (the RN's) don't know either. I'm always amazed when immature people think they are more than they really are for the sake of thier own ego.
    P.S. To all my CNA friends, I'm not trying to downplay what or who you are nor am I trying to lump everyone into a group. There are some excellent aides out there and I have met a few who have as much on the ball as any nurse I know but I also know that you are not a nurse or a professional. I do respect what you do and how open you are to learning about nursing and physiology. I know you love working with me since I do all the lifting for you, take my own vitals, give baths, and I wipe butts too.
  2. by   NancyRN
    The point is: Employers are getting away with dressing everyone alike. They like it because that way the public has no idea how few NURSES are working there. The point is: We NURSES sign our name to legal documents and put our license on the line, taking LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY for our patient. The point is: NURSES take hours and hours of Continuing Education courses, not only to KEEP that license, but to ensure quality of care for our patients and the general public.

    I consider sacred the trust placed in me as an educated health professional. That trust can be shattered in an instant by NON NURSES who look like nurses but don't have the level of training it takes to give quality care and correct information to those in need.
  3. by   pebbles
    I haven't worked with LPN's but I have worked with Certified Nursing Assistants. My experience is that they can be very professional and provide excellent care. They can also be task-oriented people who don't think about the hows and whys of what they do. It depends on the person. I am always prepared to accept a co-worker as an equal based on what he or she shows me of their professionalism. Because even things that are designated as NA responsibilities are things I see as part of the big picture of "nursing". But with non-RN staff, I watch closely, and I try to assess the person's level of understanding until I get to know someone. After the initial get to know you period, I relax. Because after all, I am still responsible for the patient's care that day.

    There are reasons why we have LPN's, and RN's. Clarifying that to the public doesn't have to be an issue of professional snobbery. The fact that this discussion is even taking place speaks partly to the way we all treat each other in the workplace. Educating the public about the difference between professional classes can only be a good thing. Asking that other designations of health care professionals clarify themselves and enforcing the importance and value of RN's in health care does not mean we think that anyone is dumb.

    Saying "hi, I'm the RN responsible for your care, and I will be working with ___, who is an LPN" is polite, clarifies who is who, and allows the patient to understand that there are differences in the people who are caring for him. I think the patients deserve to know who is caring for them and how the care will be structured. Not so that they understand any type of workplace power structure (do patients really care about our workplace politics?), but so that they can best utilize the system to get the care they need.

    Better nametags and personal introductions and explanations are a nicer way to identify different types of staff. Avoids creating an obvious power structure, and allows us freedom to choose what we want to wear. I know wards where the manager mandates that the RNs wear professional street clothes and lab coats so as to be on the same level as the doctors. I think true professionalism takes things beyond what you wear. It's an attitude. I wear scrubs for convenience and practicality, not because I need that uniform to identify me as a nurse!
  4. by   ChristenLPN
    Unfortunately Susy K has described my current OB-GYN office precisely. We do have 2 triage nurses who sit on the phone all day and call in scripts, fax orders, obtain PAs, etc. I am the only nurse working with patients and surrounded by MAs who have no idea how insulting it is when they introduce themselves as nurses. There is one MA in particular who really thinks she is the cat's meow. Just a few weeks ago she roomed a pt for me while I was starting an IV, and when I went into the room to do her assessment, this pt told me that the "other nurse" had YELLED at her for her marked weight gain. Her mother confirmed this for me. What the MA had not bothered- or probably even known- to check out was pitting in her legs and ankles, a severe headache, and had not mentioned a word about her BP being 142/96. I am amazed that people will introduce themselves as nurses and take it upon themselves to lecture patients, all the while having no clue that something serious is going on! Does it not occur to them that they may be asked to provide information that they don't know? We do have a safety net in that this pt would never have gotten out of the office without the Dr dx'ing her properly, but it infuriated me that this shy young girl was yelled at like a child and made to feel ashamed of her weight gain. This MA was not even reprimanded for misrepresenting herself, nor for her totally inappropriate treatment of a patient. What MAs don't seem to realize is that nobody walks up to you and hands you a license because you know a little about nursing and medicine. The licenses we hold are ours as a direct result of years of sacrifice, hard work, and studying. Incidentally, in all that time I spent in school, I did manage to learn a few things as well! It amuses me that I've seen a number of references to nurses always wearing their name badges, but not the MAs. There is one MA in my office who wears her name tag. All three of the nurses do. I think our only saving grace is that, unlike the hospital, unlicensed personnel are not under our supervision, so if an MA gives inappropriate medical advice to a pt, or performs a procedure out of their range of skills, we are not held responsible for that. Thankfully, no one has tried to assign me to assisit an MA yet!
  5. by   WalMart_ADN
    CNA's are NOT least not in my state. here anyone can apply for a CNA job and get on-the-job-training..with no other background. No college education, there might be a test but as far as i know it's not a state licnesing exam...and they get paid to be trained, as opposed to paying dearly to get training. A friend of mine from high school got a CNA a SUMMER JOB. NOT a professional in my book....but what do I know, i'm just an SN.
  6. by   old-master
    I am a SN, and I work in a Detox center. The techs must wear regular clothing. While our nurses wear scrubs or nice clothing. Many times, while I am working with our DO, the clients mistake me for a Doc, all time! Due to my clothing and manners! I always correct them. It amazed me that clients in need will put a title on anyone to help. It is a danger for clients to mistake Do, MD, techs, and RNs. And for those semi-medical people that are not ready or trained to overstep their bounds, is a danger to us.
    I would support a patch on the scrubs, but no caps, I am a man!

    old-master has spoken......:imbar
  7. by   thisnurse
    nursing is what we do.

    when a mom takes care of her sick child, she is nursing her.
    but she is not a nurse.
    thats how ma's can advertise as a private nurse. that is incorrect tho...they are performing private nursing, but they are not a nurse.

    i could wear a blinking light that says "nurse" on my head and hold a large sign saying NURSE, and the patients will still point at any female wearing any kind of white and call them nurse.
    same with the males. to many patients male=doc, female=nurse.
    best you can do is introduce yourself and your assistant when you meet the patient.

    female docs go thru the same thing.
  8. by   Jessy_CA26
    Woah ok.. First of all Im a C-MA and I work for a Plastic Surgeon and yes they call us "Nurses"

    As a MA I do both front and back office work as well as a Surgical Tech for my Boss. (Yes, MA's can do that) I love being in the surgery room helping out and have decided to further my carear to start taking RN courses so I can eventually get into Surgical Nursing.

    There is a lot of lab work Urinalysis to Microscope, Hematocrit etc, CPX, Venipuncture, and Injections, Ear lavage, .. I also do Drug Calculations, and Patient Education, Charting, and everything else that a Clinical Nurse does. As well as billing and collections. Its a big hat. In fact the only diffrence between a LVN and a MA is a MA is not allowed to do is catheterizations.

    Im petitioning at the end of this year. After two years of being a C-MA (not just a MA) you can petition the LVN board for a licence. And if you have the C-MA they will let you on board.

    I have never had a doctor look down on me for "just being a MA" In fact they are very happy and greatful that we are there. My MA program was twelve months long and I had a externship (whith the same doc Im with now) It seems as if the only people who have probs with MA's are RN's. I have no idea why.

    Dont knock MA's I know there a lot of half ass people out there but there a lot of good ones as well. More Clinics are hiring C-MA's rather then MA's to weed out the bad ones though. But then again there are bad ones in every level even RN's
    Last edit by Jessy_CA26 on Feb 6, '02
  9. by   joannep
    What I really hate is ...

    when I am introduced to someone and they mention they are a RN. Then, when I say "Oh, where do you work" they say, "Well, I haven't actually worked for 15 or 20 years (or whatever) since I had the kids, but I am still a RN".

  10. by   tiger
    alot of the posts are degrading to cnas. they do very important work and are not idiots.they are part of the nursing profession. they just have not chosen to further their education for their own reasons. and alot of the posts are degrading to housekeeping or dietary. they too have chosen a different path but are not stupid. alot of times when i am busting my a$$ for a few more bucks i think their choices look pretty good. i'm not trying to cause any problem here but where i work------they have it much easier than the rns and lpns--just less pay. but not that much less really....the easy j0bs are in therapy depts. they also wear scrubs and get one on one time with the pts. imo
  11. by   Jessy_CA26
    Hey, the Pay for MA's is not bad Im at 19.00 a hour and Im not complaning.
  12. by   NRSKarenRN
    from national council of state boards of nursing:

    licensure is the process by which an agency of state government grants permission to an individual to engage in a given profession upon finding that the applicant has attained the essential degree of competency necessary to perform a unique scope of practice. licensing requirements define what is necessary for the majority of individuals to be able to practice the profession safely and validate that the applicant has met those requirements. this regulatory method is used when regulated activities are complex, require specialized knowledge and skill and independent decision-making.

    certification is another type of credential that affords title protection and recognition of accomplishment, but that does not include a legal scope of practice.

    from international council of nurses
    icn position:
    the title of "nurse" should be protected by law and applied and used only by those legally authorised to practice the full scope of nursing.

    when can you call yourself a nurse ?
    registered nurse assoc. of british columbia

    registered nurses association of nova scotia

    protection of terms
    the designation of "nurse" or any related derivation, and the use of the term "nursing" to imply one's practice, is now limited to only those individuals who are regulated/licensed to provide nursing care (i.e., registered nurses, licensed/graduate practical nurses, holders of a temporary licence, students enrolled in nursing education programs, nurses on the certified graduate nurses list).

    ana: title protection for nurse
    outline of different states rules protecting the name "nurse/rn"

    from nysna:
    prohibition on the use of the title "nurse" is needed to assist patients in understanding who is delivering their care. current law prohibits use of the titles "registered professional nurse" and "licensed practical nurse" except by persons licensed under the nurse practice act. there is no such limit on the title "nurse." unlicensed staff members have been given titles such as nurse technician and been given name badges that only identify the individual as part of the nursing department. this pattern is prevalent in all health care settings, from the person that advertises their services as "baby nurse" to assist parents with newborn care to the medical office receptionist who is called "doctor's nurse." these practices have led to the mistaken assumption by patients that unlicensed persons are actually licensed providers of nursing care.

    nursing is a helping profession. it has the public's trust -- a trust that has been earned because nurses have worked hard to ensure that all those who practice nursing meet standards for the profession and follow a code of ethics. through licensure you have accountability to the patient, other nurses and to the public at large that you are meeting minimal standards for safe nursing practice---without licensure you have no such protection.

    if a licensed nurse causes harm to a person through negligence or failure to act, they will lose their license to practice within that state and almost never regain it.....along with losing the ability to move to another state to practice for most states will not grant licensure once its known that license suspened/revoked in another juristiction...along with the potential to lose property, posessions and be financially wiped out due to a lawsuit.

    all other non-licensed personal who perform nursing functions don"t have that same level of responsibilty/accountability/loss of livelihood facing them if something goes awry while performing care!

    let's stop diluting the workforce with all these other healthcare provider terms. it's time to return to just three levels of nursing caregivers:

    1. rn's
    2. lpn's/lvn's
    3. certified nursing assistants/certified home health aides

    let everyone else involved in care giving fill these positions and stop muddying the healthcare roles. by organizing care into these roles you would have clear delineation of levels of care and responsibilities, can create a career track to move from one role to another and regain accountability over each groups actions.

  13. by   P_RN
    This is not a discussion of personalities or peoples qualities.

    I was a MA for seven years. This is not the question. I was a nursing assistant for 3 years. I have been an RN for 28 years....and ONLY those years was I a NURSE.

    The point at hand is who may be called a NURSE. For example:

    Only licensed nurses (RNs and LPNs) may use any abbreviation or other designation such as "nurse" which implies licensure.

    South Carolina: It is unlawful for any person to practice as a registered nurse or a practical nurse, to use the abbreviation "R.N." or "L.P.N." or any sign, card, or device to indicate that a person is a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, within the meaning of this chapter, in this State, who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter, to include a lapsed license, an inactive license, a voluntarily surrendered license, and anyone violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for a period of not less than thirty days, or both.

    California:AB 1439, authored by Assemblymember Brett Granlund (R-Yucaipa) and co-authored by Helen Thomson (D-Davis) at the request of the California Nurses Association, requires that caregivers disclose their credentials on their name tag while providing patient care. It also prohibits any person other than a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse from using the term "nurse."

    This is ALL this discussion should be about. All boards have similar regulations.

    ONLY licensed NURSES may be called or call themselves NURSE.
    It is NOT LEGAL to do otherwise.